After a year and a half of frenzied construction and hundreds of billions of RMB in spending, China has emerged as the clear global leader in 5G infrastructure with a dominant 70% of the world’s base stations, the latest government data show, reported Caixin.
The nation now has more than 718,000 base stations, covering all of its major cities, said Liu Liehong, a vice minister at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Domestic sales of 5G-enabled devices, mostly smartphones, have totaled more than 200 million to date, with more than nine of every 10 smartphones sold in China now 5G-enabled, he added, speaking Tuesday at a major telecom event taking place in Shanghai.
In last year’s third quarter, China accounted for77% of the nearly 100 million 5G smartphones shipped worldwide, followed by the US at a distant second with 7% and South Korea at third with 4%, according to data tracking firm IDC.
Liu pointed out that telecom product and service providers have spent a collective RMB 260 billion ($40 billion) on the technology to date.